The Lone Wolf

If you think that you were roughly raised by your parents, think again after hearing my story. I was abandoned in the forest of Zwan when I was still a toddler. Despite feeling alone and afraid, I tried to survive. In vain, I got sick after being completely soaked day in and day out. I had a very high fever and basically blacked out. When I woke up, I was in a cave. Surrounding me are dogs– no, wolves. The biggest among them lays on an elevated rock. She is the alpha, my known mother. This is a story of how I was raised by wolves.

If you think that is easy and fun, because you know– dogs are man’s best friend. You are completely wrong. Wolves are fierce in nature. They start training their young ones as early as three months old. At the time I was adopted, I was considered as a “new born pup”, that means I am 0 days old. For cubs aged 0-3 months, we were pampered. We were spoiled by the pack; they lick us clean, provide us food, and even comforts us to sleep. It was ecstatic and pure euphoria. When the third month came, it ended.

Hell broke loose. We were no longer pampered–spoiled. We were left alone to fend for ourselves; we hunt, groom ourselves, we even resist the trembling during the freezing temperature during the night. It is an unspoken rule that the weak is unneeded by the pack. Show any form of weakness or cowardice and you are sent off alone. I saw this happen a few times now. The weaker pups were not able to keep up during a hunt, and the other members of the pack did not even bother to slow down the pace. That day 2 pups were lost in the jungle, and only one has returned.

It has been a week since we’ve become initiates; we are still not part of the pack as we have yet to accomplish and pass the test given by the alpha. When night came, all members of the pack was summoned by the alpha. Everyone gathered around, the initiates at the front as if being sentenced. This is unusual, usually everyone is scattered. I have a bad hunch about this. The alpha, then, announced that we are to hunt and that she, herself, will lead us. I sighed as the ominous feeling shattered into pieces. So, maybe, that is why we were at front. The alpha does not usually lead the hunt. She is usually at the back, supervising everyone and alert for any sign of danger.

I was three wolves behind the alpha. I can clearly see her pure white tail swaying, as we trot searching for the first prey of the night. Her thick briskly fur glistens as the moon’s light shine upon it. The big size of her body becomes another asset to her beauty. However, don’t be deceived by her beauty as she is also the fiercest among the pack. This was immediately proven when we spotted our first prey, a doe drinking on the pond.

The alpha let out a howl to signal the group, it was full and sharp. The chase begun, or that’s what I would like to call it. As the doe heard the howl, it immediately tried to escape, but wolves are born hunters, especially the alpha. The trot immediately became a dash. The space between the alpha and the wolf behind her became so evident in a few seconds. Another few seconds and the alpha opened its mouth, showing her big white fangs. With a snap of her jaw, her fangs dug deep on the doe’s neck. With a sharp twist, the doe’s neck broke with a snap and the alpha pinned the doe on the floor. After a few more seconds of struggling, the alpha started to feast on the doe. As we arrive on the scene, the alpha has already eaten all her share, and that was the end of our first prey.

After all that remains of the doe are inedible parts such as skin, head, and bones, we resumed the hunt. We strolled in the forest with our initial trot. As time passes, we are nearing the territory of the bears. It confused me, and although I try to hide it my heart throbs wildly within my chest. I tried to convince myself to trust in the alpha, and if trouble comes, the alpha will protect the pack. Until we’ve reached a cave. The alpha howled, everything went silent. My mind went haywire, why is the alpha doing this, why is she howling in front of a bear’s cave. The alpha howled once more, this time a huge black bear went out. With another howl, the pack surrounded the bear. The bear seemed to be intimidated, but the alpha howled once more and the members of the pack retreated a few feet back. This forms a big circle with only the initiates and the bear inside. The alpha howled for the last time. Tonight is the test; this is the test.

Everybody looked shocked, except the bear. With the pack too far away from the impending battle, the bear was furious. We were forced to take formation and shake our wits if we don’t want to get bashed. There are eight initiates, and to battle a single bear, I think we have a chance.

Four of the initiates surrounded the bear blocking any escape route, while the other four circled him and attacked his blind spot. I was part of the attacking team. Everything was going well at the beginning, we were able to land a few scratches and bites. However, the damaged we’ve dealt were too shallow, specifically mine. Our formation immediately broke when the bear landed a hit on one of the initiates. It sent the initiate flying and hitting the wall near the cave entrance. The initiate stood up– limping. Blood shot up to my head, and rage drowned my mind. I circled the bear and jumped to its empty back. I may not have claws, but I have fingers to hold unto its fur. I tried to claw to its skin, that was what I was taught after all. The bear’s hide was too tough for my little nails. The bear swung its arms widely, trying to shake me up. I hold on tighter and went higher. As I reach the neck area, I tried to use another of my weapons, my teeth. I bit the bear’s neck as hard as I can, but my teeth won’t even penetrate the skin. The bear decided to go on all four and run to shake me off. With the stopping of its wild attacks, my fellow initiates can finally resume their attacks as well. Even my limping comrade attacked as well.

The bear circled around. I hang tightly on its fur and neck. As he lower his head, I grabbed one of the sharp rocks lying on the road. The others claws and bight the bear every time an opportunity arises. It is now covered with shallow cuts and holes. We weren’t dealing any serious damage, so I climbed higher. My hand went to the bear’s head, I felt its structure and as I feel a wet, but hard feeling I pushed it down– hard. The bear stood up, and let out a big roar. I was not finished yet, I held the rock that I picked up and drove it hard on the bear’s eyes. The whole rock went inside bear’s eyes. The bear roared in pain. I howled, asking for assistance and signaling the attack. The others started to run, but the bear slammed its back along with me on the wall near the cave entrance. I felt the air knocked out of my chest. My hold loosened, the bear’s claw caught my skin and opened a deep gash across my chest. Sharp pain immediately registered, I can feel something cold and wet pouring down my stomach. The others are now attacking the infuriated bear. Deeper cuts are now evident, however, the bear is also landing its attacks.

The angry bear smashed its claw down, hitting one of the initiated. Another initiate immediately jumped and bit the bear’s neck as it became open. The bite was too shallow, and the initiate fell victim to the bear’s fangs. The limp dead body of the initiate lays on the floor, and a pool of blood is starting to form from its open stomach. Upon seeing this, my body froze. All fighting spirit slipped through my body, and all the pain registered all at once. Another initiate, fell victim to the bear’s claws, but the bear also suffered damages as blood can be seen gushing out of its neck. My mind went blank, and my body started to tremble. My heart pounds loudly on my chest, I stood up. Tears and snot came out of my nose and eyes. A dying howl of another initiate gets mixed up with the pained roar of the bear. I darted away from the battle, bawling my eyes out. After a few meters or so, a white silhouette loomed over me, and pinned me down. She howled, and 30 gray figures dashed to attack and finish the bear. All the living initiates were gathered. 2 initiates are uninjured, 3 suffering heavy injuries, another 3 are dead. The injured were carried, and the dead left behind along the corpse of the bear. This is the rule of the forest, eat or be eaten.

I was carried by the alpha, my mother. I hold tightly on her back. Her previously white fur, is now stained red. I did my best to hold my hics, but I terribly failed. I can only wish that the winds masked my embarrassment. We eventually arrived at our den. The injured were treated and the others slept.

The night after, a ceremony was conducted. The initiates will be formally accepted as new members of the pack. The first ones were the two uninjured initiates. As they stood in front of the alpha, they bowed their head and receive a lick from the alpha. The others howled in harmony, welcoming the new members. Then one by one, the injured were called and the procedure repeated itself. Came my turn, blood rushed to my cheeks in excitement. With pride, I stride towards the alpha and bowed my head down. The whole pack is watching intensively. The alpha slowly leaned closer. My heart pounding, waiting for the wet but smooth sensation on my head. However, what I received was not a lick, rather it was a bite! The alpha bit me. My mind went in shambles, I don’t understand what is happening. The alpha bit my shoulder. I can feel a sharp pain on my whole shoulder, and blood started to drip out. The alpha howled, and the whole pack followed after. That moment is when I’ve understood everything. That was not the howl of welcome, that was the howl of shame. I was banished from the pack. The bite of the alpha is the brand of cowardice.

End

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